The Eastern Turn in Academe

As in most areas of academia, the English language predominates in the field of research on responsible enterprise and finance. Many of the journals in related fields, such as corporate governance, business ethics, and environmental management, originate from Western institutions and convene editorial and review boards of western academics. As a result we might expect such journals to provide relatively more coverage of Western concepts and practices than those from other parts of the world.

The practitioners surveyed by Lifeworth called for more research on responsible enterprise and finance in Asia (see Movement East). We therefore examined the level of research attention being paid to responsible enterprise issues in Asia since the turn of the century, from within a group of eight English-language, Western-originating, academic journals that deal with different aspects of business in society. The results of this analysis are shown in Figure 8. It shows that in 2008 the number of journal articles concerning Asia was double that of the average number for the previous 7 years.48 The journals Corporate Governance: An International Review, and Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management have increased their coverage of Asia significantly in recent years. In April 2008, the Journal of Business Ethics published a special issue on the importance of cross-fertilisation of Eastern and Western ethical traditions in the study and practice of business ethics.49 Taken together, the evidence from these journals is that more of the management academe has begun to turn Eastwards in its analysis of responsible enterprise. The full list of countries searched, the databases used and the titles of the articles found, are provided in Appendix 2.

The importance of management academia providing useful research and education on responsible enterprise in Asia and the wider world is why we are pleased to publish this Review in association with the International Centre for CSR (ICCSR) at the University of Nottingham, which has been advancing an international approach for some years, and to coincide with the launch of the Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise (APCSE) at Griffith Business School.

Interfacing academic inquiry with those assessing and investing in businesses is important, and so we are pleased to have worked with ethical investment research firms EIRIS and Covalence in bringing you this review. In 2009 EIRIS found similar trends in the growth of Asian CSR activity as this review.50

» Characteristics and Implications of Asian Responsible Enterprise

Figure 8: Academic Analysis of Responsible Enterprise issues Related to Asia
Appendix 2 – Academic Papers Mentioning Asia in Responsible Enterprise Journals 2000-2008

This figure, appendix and all references are available in the pdf download and hard copy versions of this annual review, available from Lifeworth’s bookstore.

This section can be referenced as:

Bendell, J., and C Ng, ‘Introduction’, in J. Bendell, N. Alam, S. Lin, C. Ng, L. Rimando, C. Veuthey, B. Wettstein (2009) The Eastern Turn in Responsible Enterprise: A Yearly Review of Corporate Responsibility from Lifeworth, Lifeworth: Manila, Philippines. (Page numbers for this section are available in the pdf download and hardcopy.)

Share your views or news on this subject